Incomplete Recall

I recently heard from a father whose daughter attended Hyde in the late 90s.  He happily reported that she’s thriving in her personal and professional life and expressed his appreciation for Hyde’s contributions to this development.  He then lamented that his daughter has never acknowledged that Hyde is deserving of much, if any, credit for her success.

Responding to this father, I observed that his daughter’s ambivalence regarding Hyde’s role in her life is not as uncommon a phenomenon as he might believe.  Over the years, I’ve even encountered a few who believe that Hyde was a negative factor in their development.

While these comments are small in number in comparison to the praise we have received from our former students, they used to bug me a lot.  Maybe it’s like that single drop of ink in a glass of water that discolors the whole thing.  Experience has taught me to practice what I teach – “trust the process” and keep on keepin’ on.

Over the years, I’ve observed that some Hyde alums have a selective or even distorted memory when it comes to the accuracy of their own recall regarding the behavioral profiles they initially presented upon arrival at Hyde, to say nothing of the level of collaboration and cooperation (or lack thereof!) they exhibited in the early going.  Most eventually learn that it’s wise a wise policy to thank the people who tried to help you while you were coming of age.  (And that includes even the ones who might have made significant mistakes in trying to do so.)  After all, unless you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger, nobody “makes it” alone.  “Thanks” is a simple, appropriate, and effective policy.

And besides, history has also shown that sometimes a particular development must occur for this recognition of gratitude to sink in: They might need to have teenagers of their own!

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld